I’m being hyper-competitive on finally wining an autocross championship after campaigning my ‘02 Miata for the past 3 seasons. This will probably be my best and only shot to do this before I have to start putting my job ahead of autocrossing (we sometimes have to come in on Saturdays if we’re behind on work orders).
Anyway, here are the current standings:
Our region awards points in this manner:
- 1st place = 10 points
- 2nd place = 8 points
- 3rd place = 6 points
- 4th place = 5 points
- 5th place = 4 points
And so on until all the remainders get no points for their finishing position. Right now, a driver must attend 6 of the 9 events in order to qualify for the championship...and there’re 3 events left. Driver 1 (my friend in his ‘97 NA) and myself are highly likely to be attending all of them. Driver 2 is from out of state and while he hasn’t shown up to Black Lake in the past, he’s 100% a threat to my chances of winning if he shows up at all remaining events.
We need to make an assumption here, that use 3 will all score podium positions at all 3 remaining events. Driver 2 is pretty skilled and Driver 1's abilities have and are growing as this season progresses. We’re highly likely to be sweeping the podiums for the rest of the season bar Black Lake, which is a point-region event and their drivers are highly-competitive as well.
So, let’s try to predict the outcomes of the next 3 races!
This is a tight lot that the region typically configures a lapping-style course to get the most out of the limited space.
I’ve done okay at this event, with my best of scoring 2nd place last summer. Driver 1 and myself have done this event before but Driver 2 hasn’t. That said, unfamiliarity with a site hasn’t stopped Driver 2 before since he kicked Driver 1's and my own butt twice this year at Florence 1 and at Myrtle Beach 1. So, based off of the three previous events where all three of us were in attendance, let’s predict this:
Driver 2 will beat everyone, with me in 2nd-place and Driver 1 in 3rd. I drop Florence 1 and replace it with Charleston’s result, boosting me to 46 points. Driver 1 has 31 points and is now eligible to compete for a championship trophy. Drive 2 has now overtaken Driver 1 but he’s still 2 events away from qualifying.
Myrtle Beach made a comeback this year after a 3-year hiatus from the region’s calendar. I put up a mediocre performance earlier this season, scoring 5th out of 7 total drivers and just ahead of Driver 1 in 6th-place. It’s a super-sandy lot and it was also my first autocross on new-to-me Dunlop Z2 Star Spec tires, which I got used to later at Black Lake 1.
*oops, no video*
So, assuming a similar repeat of Charleston and hoping I’ve improved enough to beat any other E-Street drivers besides Drivers 1 and 2, here’re my predictions:
Am I cocky to predict I can still beat Driver 1? Probably but between me and him it’s like Hamilton vs Rosberg in terms of competitive mental games without the crashing and drama. As long as I can keep him pressured by setting fast times early, then I can beat him.
Anyway, I drop another 4-point result with a 8-point result but now all I have is a 6-point advantage over Driver 2. Driver 1 is no longer a threat to me, thankfully. This makes it down-to-the-wire at Black Lake 2.
Black Lake, otherwise known as the Michelin Laurens Proving Grounds, is a huge site that allows for high-speed courses. I’ve done well at the event earlier this year, it was where I figured out how to correctly dial-in my used Z2 Star Specs. I got 3rd-place out of 16 drivers! Not too shabby in my opinion. Driver 1 managed 6th-place and Driver 2 didn’t show up.
So, let’s assume the worst best-case scenario: Driver 1 finally beats me for the 2nd time this year but we both lose to Driver 1. Driver 2 FINALLY qualifies for our region’s championship, scoring 54 over the course of 6 events...dayum. Driver 1 sums up a respectable 45 points, but it’s not enough to surpass me or Driver 2.
I win E-Street by a 2-point margin. In theory I could get 4th-place at the last event and still win by a single point. I don’t want to cut it that close but at least I have a tiny bit of breathing room. However, it still means I need to lose no more than 9 points to Driver 2 or else I’m done for.
Let’s just assume Driver 1 gets a second wind and dominates for the rest of the season and Driver 2 doesn’t show up to Black Lake 2.
I still need to score 2 second-place finishes and a third-place finish in order to beat Driver 1 by a single point. This might be an unlikely scenario given our past results but I can’t count my chickens until the second-to-last egg cracks open.
Anyway, here’s to hoping that I don’t suck and that I finally manage to accomplish my goal of winning ES in my Miata!